Legislative Update

April 25-29, 2016

Roads and Bridges

The Senate passed S. 1258, a bill that puts an additional $2 billion into repairing specific roads and bridges over a ten-year period. SCDOT reports that all structurally deficient bridges statewide would be repaired. Additionally, the House and Senate conference committee began working on H. 3579, the bill to reform the decision-making process at SCDOT. The plan is to do both reform and funding. I do not believe one will pass without the other.


The Senate took two big steps toward ethics reform last week by passing H. 3184, a bill that would require independent investigations of ethics complaints against legislators and H. 3186, a bill that would require candidates and elected officials to disclose the sources of their income, i.e. who’s paying them. The bills will go back to the House of Representatives, but I am optimistic the General Assembly will pass both bills this session.

Juveniles in Criminal Proceedings

The Senate passed S. 916, a bill that would change the law so that persons under the age of 18 are treated as juveniles in criminal proceedings. Current law sets that age at under 17.

Agriculture Disaster Relief

The Senate passed H. 4717, a bill that would provide $40 million for relief to farms that were devastated by last year’s floods. Agriculture is a huge part of South Carolina’s economy. The 2015 floods caused more than $500 million in damages and crop losses to the industry. This bill is designed to help some of the most severely impacted farms across the state.

Child Fatality Review

The Senate passed S. 1182, a bill that would require coroners to establish Child Fatality Review Teams to review the causes of child deaths.

State Budget

The Senate heard preliminary information about the state budget on Thursday and will begin debate on the budget on Tuesday morning. I will keep you updated.

Senate Session

The Senate had Third Readings on the following and they were sent to the House of Representatives:

S908 South Carolina Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act: A bill to enact the “South Carolina Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act. It will establish the framework by which internet users have the power to plan for the management and disposition of digital assets upon death or incapacitation.

S1015 Counterfeit Airbags: A bill to make unlawful certain actions involving counterfeit or nonfunctional airbags.

S1023 Concealed Weapon Permits: A bill to include certain persons who are retired from certain offices in the purview of the concealable weapon statute.

S1016 Eye Care: A bill to enact the “Eye Care Consumer Protection Law” to establish requirements for a person who sells spectacles or contact lenses using refractive data or information generated by an automated testing device.

S561 DOT: A bill to require the commission to develop a long-range transportation plan with a minimum 20 year forecast period, to further provide for the requirements for development, content and implantation.

S1258 SIB: A bill to provide for the distribution of certain fees and fines collected by the Department of Motor Vehicles transferred to the state highway fund and that DOT allocate the funds credited to the state funded resurfacing program. The bill further provides that DOT shall identify bridge and road projects to be financed utilizing non-tax revenue transferred to the bank by the DOT in an amount equal to the financing requirements related to projects selected. The bank shall approve the projects to be financed and notify DOT.

S139 Coastal Zones: A bill to require the department to establish the baseline and that once established must not be moved seaward from its position on December 31, 2017. It will further provide for additional technologies, methodologies, or structures with regard to protecting beach and dune critical areas when an emergency Order issued by appointed officials of counties and municipalities.

S1127 IRA: A bill to delete a provision relating to IRA’s being exempt from attachment only to the extent that is permitted in the Federal Bankruptcy Code.

S356 Native American Indian Groups: A bill to require that recognized Native American Indian Groups continue to be recognized and eligible to exercise privileges and obligations authorized by that designation and that the commission for minority affairs cease to recognize additional Indian groups.

S1139 SLED: A bill to require SLED to furnish to the DOR documentation of all criminal convictions, guilty pleas, and nolo contendere pleas which result from events occurring on the premises of business establishments holding licenses to sell beer, wine or liquor.

S1205 Bond Requirements of Deputy Enforcement Officers: A bill to provide that natural resources enforcement officers are not required to obtain the bonds required by certain code sections and to provide that these officers shall be covered by a surety bond of not less than two thousand dollars and that the DNR must pay the premiums on the surety bonds.

S371 Samuels Law: A bill to add the overmedicating or undermedicating of a patient by a nurse who misreads a physician’s order as a ground to revoke the nurse’s license.

S986 Prostitution: A bill to increase the penalties for solicitation of prostitution, establishing or keeping a brothel or house of prostitution, or causing or inducing another to participate in prostitution. It will further provide an affirmative defense of being a victim of human trafficking.

S980 Veterinarians: A bill to require all prescription drugs dispensed to an animal’s owner to be labeled in accordance with State and Federal law.

S981 License Plates: A bill to provide that the South Carolina Animal Care and Control Association shall coordinate the grant program, be eligible to receive reimbursement and distribute grant money; to require an annual accounting for the program and to require certain

information before a nonprofit organization can receive funding under the grant program.

S1037 Team Physicians: A bill to expand the exemption of team physicians of athletic teams visiting the state for a specific sporting even from certain licensing requirements.

S1177 Professional Licensure of Architects: A bill to change a reference to the “intern development program” with the “architectural experience program”.

S1170 Alimony: A bill to provide that certain earnings of a subsequent spouse are not to be considered by the Court when making, modifying or terminating the award of alimony.

S1092 Drug Offenses: A bill to conform the language of trafficking in illegal drugs provisions, including opiates and heroin, to the language of the provisions concerning possession and distribution of certain illegal drugs which would include synthetic opiates, among other drugs.

S227 Redevelopment Fees: A bill to extend the end date for remissions of redevelopment fees from January 1, 2017 to January 1, 2037.

S1122 Local Option Fee: A bill to provide for the reimposition of the local option tourism development fee.

S1182 Coroners and Medical Examiners: A bill to provide that the coroner of each county shall schedule a local child fatality review team to perform a review of a case where a child under the age of eighteen dies in the county her serves and to provide the purpose of the review team. To also provide that funds must be disbursed to the counties equally to pay the duly elected full-time coroner or other related personnel or equipment and to provide that excess funds must be used by the coroners training advisory committee to perform its duties.

H3186 Ethics: A bill to require certain income disclosures.

S922 Commission for the Blind Concession Stands: A bill to provide that an operator of a concession stand may not subcontract the installation or operation of the concession stand to a person who is not blind or does not have a severe visual disability.

S1252 Fire Marshall: A bill to require the State Fire Marshall to issue a license for a community fireworks display if certain safety conditions and other requirements are met.

H3184 Ethics: A bill to change the composition of the State Ethics Commission to an eight member board, 4 appointments made by the Governor, 1 by each majority and minority party in each House, with the advice and consent of the General Assembly. It will provide for initial staggered terms, then subsequent terms will be for 5 years, the members can be removed for cause. In addition it provides for the release of certain information, sets for the authority of the SEC, content requirements of a complaint and what actions are taken upon receipt.

S685 Engineers and Surveyors: A bill to provide that the practice of the profession is subject to the regulation of the State; to provide for additional qualifications and regulations.

S916 Juvenile Justice: A bill to provide that a “child” or “juvenile” means a person less than eighteen years of age and to provide certain procedures for establishing jurisdiction of criminal offenses as it relates to juveniles.

S1272 Carry-Forward funds: A resolution to authorize the Department of Education to carry forward certain funds appropriated in the 2015-2016 general appropriations act regarding supplemental support of programs and services for students with disabilities so as to meet the estimated maintenance of effort for the individuals with disabilities act.

S680 Animal Care Act: A bill to enact the provisions for costs of Animal Care Act. It will set forth criteria for payment by custodian of an animal that is taken into custody due to civil or criminal violations by its owner, to establish procedures for hearing such petitions and for the collection and use of funds ordered to be paid, to provide for forfeiture of the animal under certain conditions and to provide that an incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals may assist with a lawful investigation.

S4717 S.C. Farm Aid Fund: A bill to establish the “South Carolina Farm Aid Fund” to assist farmers who suffered at least a forty percent loss of agricultural commodities as a result of a natural disaster.

The Senate had Second Readings on the following and they were ordered for third reading:

H4510 Foster Children: A bill to place limitations on the number of foster children who may be placed in a foster home.

S668 SC Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Act: A bill to provide that governing bodies may establish a district by adoption of an ordinance for the purpose of promoting, encouraging and facilitating clean energy improvements within its geographic area

Enrolled for Ratification:

H5100 Emergency Medical Provider: A bill to revise the definition of emergency medical provider to include oral surgeons and dentists licensed by the State Board of Dentistry.

H4712 Agriculture Real Property and Lessee Improvements: A bill to classify off-premises outdoor advertising signs as personal property and to provide that under certain circumstances an off-premises sign site must be taxed at its value which existed before the erection of the sign.

H3768 S.C. Able Savings Plan: A bill to establish the “South Carolina Able Savings Program” to allow individuals with a disability and their families to save private funds to support the individual with a disability and to provide guidelines to the State Treasurer for the maintenance of these accounts.

S339 Hope’s Law: A bill to enact “Hope’s Law” to require mammogram providers to provide a mammogram report to patients about breast density and to require these providers to include a conspicuous notice when a mammogram shows the presence of dense breast tissue.

Committee Updates

Conference Committee Appointed:

H3579 Transportation Infrastructure Bank-Senators Hutto, Grooms and Cleary

Coming this Week

Budget/session starts at 10:00 Tuesday and Wednesday.

The information contained herein is prepared by the staff of the South Carolina Senate and is not the expression of the Senate. It is strictly for the internal use and benefit of members of the Senate and is not to be construed by a court of law as an expression of legislative intent.

Senator Mike Fair

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or need assistance.